The word ‘Senior Citizen’ gives us a outlook of a aged standing with a walking stick, old long bag on their shoulders, standard glasses on their nose. This is the real identity of Indian Old Aged People, Lets go in detail with this matter. The process of ageing is inevitable, their life gets into drastic changes in the function of their body, mind, thought process, mostly in function of their organs, the transformation makes them totally different from normal people. It does not mean that they are unfit for normal lifestyle, but they are treasures of our nation.
Population Facts & Figures
The population of the elderly is increasing year by year, according to the UNESCO estimates, the number of the aged(60+) was likely 590 million in the year 2005. The figure will be doubled in the year 2025, and will cross 2 billion by the year 2050. This will create a society with higher population of the elderly than the younger. In India, at present 8% of total population is above 60 years, which will rise to 18% in 2025.
Challenges of the Elderly
- Psycho-Social Problems
- Abuse and harassment
- Social recognition
- Physiological Problems
- Health issues
- Nutrition deficiency
- Adequate housing
- Medical problems
- Economic Problems
- Income insecurity
- Loss of employment
- Economic deficiency
The International Perspective
The world nations and the U.N.O had taken series steps to ensure protection of the aged. They are as follows,
- 1948- Argentina took initiative step to debate the issue of ageing in the U.N.O.
- 1969- Malta raised the same issue of elderly protection and maintenance.
- 1971- General Assembly asked the Secretary-General to prepare a comprehensive report and suggest guidelines for national and international action on elderly protection and maintenance.
- 1978- General Assembly decided to hold a World Conference on ageing.
- 1982- World Assembly On Ageing was held between July 26 – August 6.
- 1982- International Plan Of Action On Ageing was adopted. The plan is to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the issues on ageing. Plan attempted to implicate a better understanding of economical, social, cultural, humanitarian and developed issues.
- 1991- U.N.O adopted 18 principles to ensure independence, safety, care and dignity of the elderly.
- 1992- U.N General Assembly adopted the proclamation to observe the year 1999 as The International Year For Older Person.
- 1992- U.N.O declared “1st October” as the “International Day For The Elderly”.
- Opportunity To Work
- Integrated and Active Participation In The Society
- Access To Health Care
- Proper Maintenance Of Physical, Mental And Emotional “Well-Being”.
- To Pursue Opportunity For Development
- Access To Educational, Cultural, Spiritual And Recreational Activity In The Society
- Live In Dignity
- Live In Security
- Free From Physical And Mental Abuse
Keeping the above points in mind, our Indian Law Framers had designed in such a way providing protection and safeguarding their rights. The Indian Policies are,
Protection under Indian Law
- Indian Constitution: Art 41- Right to work, education, public assistance in certain cases. Art-46- Promotion of educational and economic interests.
- The Hindu Law: Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956. The first personal law statute imposing an obligation on children to maintain their parents.
- The Muslim Law: The son in a , whether he earns or not is bound to take care of is parents in the order of first mother and then father.
- The Christian And The Parsi Law: The Christians and the parsis have no personal law to favouring the security of the elderly, they have to seek help through The Criminal Procedure Code.
- The Code Of Criminal Procedure: Sec 125 provides the provision to the maintenance of the parents by their children, no matter to which religion or community they belong to.
- Provisions Laid By The Government:
- Setting up pension fund for ensuring security.
- Constructing old age homes and day care centers for every 3-4 districts.
- Establishment of resource centers and re-employment bureaus.
- Concessional rail/air fares for easy travel within and between cities.
- Enacting legislations to ensure compulsory geriatric care in all public hospitals.
- National Council For Older Person called Agewell Foundation by Ministry Of Justice And Empowerment.
- Setting up round the clock helpline.
- Attempt to sensitise school children to work, play and join the elderly.
- Prompt settlement of pension, PF, gratuity etc..
- High priority in healthcare.
- Income Tax exemption under 88-B, 88-D, 88DDB.
- LIC policy schemes for elderly.
- Annapurna Yojna providing 10kg/month food for poor elderly people.
- Allotment of 10% in govt housing projects.
The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007
“An act to provide for more effective provisions for the maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens guaranteed and recognized under the Constitution and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereof”.
CHAPTER I – Preliminary
CHAPTER II – Maintenance Of Parents And Senior Citizens
CHAPTER III – Establishment Of Old Age Homes
CHAPTER IV – Provisions For Medical Care Of Senior Citizen
CHAPTER V – Protection Of Life And Property Of Senior Citizen
CHAPTER VI – Offences And Procedure For Trial
CHAPTER VII – Miscellaneous
The Senior Citizens (Maintenance, Protection And Welfare) Bill, 2006
This bill had an attempt to implicate the policies to enhance the care towards senior citizens, but the the act came into force in 2007.
Nowadays, we hear many bitter incidents happening around the world. Even in India, we come across many murders, burglars, dacoity, threats, abuse and harassment in which number of elderly are affected directly. The High Court Of The States issuing directions, guidelines on this burning issue.
The real fact is , we people should have a change in approach towards the elderly. If this condition prolongs, there would be a real misery in the future. Because the next generation would lose the valuable knowledge from the experienced.
LET THE CHANGE BEGIN FROM US………….